Now is a great time to get your kids involved in fun activities themed around the spring growing season. Well-known nursery school chain Kiddi Caru is hosting some cool sunflower-themed spring events and also sharing some cool home gardening project ideas to help you get inspired and ready to sow with your little ones.
Even if you’re lacking in outdoor or indoor garden space, or only have a shared area at your disposal, there are still ways to teach kids about growing flowers and edibles this time of the year.
Sow Sunflowers Indoors
Although your sunflower will eventually need to be moved outside, you can start the majority of the process indoors. Growing sunflowers will not only educate your child on gardening, but also allow them to create something that can eventually be gifted to another family member with a private garden in which to plant the flowers.
To begin, you will need to fill a pot with compost, up to about 2/5 of an inch (roughly 1cm) below the rim. For the container, you can use just about anything–tin cans, plastic cups or even adapted toilet rolls will all work as long as there’s a way for the excess water to drain out. Adapting household items teaches kids to be friendly to the environment by recycling and re-purposing and they can also personalize their chosen pot with paints and stickers.
After filling the pot with compost, plant one seed per pot before pouring in enough water to moisten the soil. Sunflowers grown indoors will grow more rapidly than those that are planted outside, and they tend to grow taller because of the warmer indoor environment. Wait anywhere from a week to ten days and you’ll see them begin to shoot up and grow. We recommend getting some wooden sticks to support your sunflower as it gets bigger. During this growing stage, your young gardener can place a piece of card behind the pot mark off the sunflower’s growth each day!
Some other indoor gardening projects:
Create Cress Eggheads
Growing garden cress (the fast-growing, edible herb) is a small and simple way to teach your child about cultivating a plant. You may have to start things off before passing the task on to your little one, and here’s how:
Get your eggshells ready and use a needle to poke a hole in the bottom. Then, you need something porous such as a piece of paper towel or a coffee filter to place underneath to cover the hole.
Now is your child’s time to shine. They can draw faces on the eggshells with felt-tip markers and also give them names. It might be fun to decorate the shells with stripes, polka dots or any other pattern. Let their creativity run wild!
Next, you and your child can fill the shells up to three-quarters full with soil. Make sure the soil is moist before sprinkling the seeds and pressing them down. Cover the eggs with cling wrap and leave them in a warm place until they’ve sprouted up to the top. When they’ve sprouted, remove the film and continue to water until the cress grows higher and is ready to cut. Your child can then be a sous chef and add the homegrown cress to a salad, sandwich, or use a garnish for soups.
Turn Old Toys Into a Mini Garden
No time to grow something from seed or maybe your child is a tad impatient? Grab an old toy – anything that can have drainage holes added to it will do – fill it with soil and plant a store bought plant or one gifted from a friend’s garden. Any type of child’s toy truck will do, or perhaps a princess tea set that’s no longer in use. As long as there’s a way for the water to drain, and enough room to hold soil and a plant, then you’re good to go! For smaller toys, opt for succulents or perhaps even cress if the eggshells don’t tickle your fancy.
Although you won’t be teaching your child how to necessarily grow anything from seed with this method, you can get them involved potting the plant and then educate them on how to look after it and keep it healthy. Get growing!
Unless otherwise noted, all photos via Kiddi Caru.